Amid speculation over his F1 future, Lewis Hamilton has hit back at those who are speculating that the performance of Mercedes will ultimately decide whether or not the seven-time champion remains in the sport.
Both Jenson Button and Damon Hill have suggested that Hamilton may move on from F1 if Mercedes are unable to fight for championships again, and that Hamilton won’t renew his contract which expires at the end of the 2023 F1 season.
“No, not at all,” Hamilton told the press when asked if the car’s performance would decide his future. “It’s ultimately, people creating rumours without facts. It’s never helpful. And you would have thought that they [Button and Hill] would have both known by now.
“I’ve been at Mercedes since I was 13. Having a difficult year, we had last year [I’m] still here. Whether or not we have a difficult year this year, I’ll still be here that’s not on the platter. And we find as a team.
“I love the challenge of finding solutions and still believe I’m able to put the car in places that perhaps others are not able to. And I love that challenge.
“Course I wish that we start the season with a great car. But it’s the journey I think that really counts. So, there is no hold out with our contracts. I’ve always been very, very relaxed. I don’t feel like I have to get it done right this second.
“I’m in a very fortunate position. It’ll get done when when we’re get ready. I have a great relationship with Toto [Wolff] and with Mercedes. And we fully support each other. And I’m really excited of the future together.
“I’m really proud of the work that we’re doing on and off the track and the potential things that we can do moving forward. So we’ll get there.”
Praise for Russell
Hamilton was also full of praise for his Mercedes teammate George Russell, who is going into his second year with the Silver Arrows after impressing in the 2022 F1 season.
“George is in his the second year with this team,” Hamilton said. “[He’s] massively enthusiastic, massively talented and hungry to push for wins.”